They draw government pensions from previous work in addition to their congressional salary. The practice is called “double-dipping.”
To solve the debt crisis, Americans—who are already suffering in these tough economic times—will have to make even more sacrifices, Rep. Mike Coffman told his House colleagues last year. So, leaning on his military service, the 58-year-old Colorado Republican argued that members of Congress should take the first step and abolish their congressional pensions. “If there’s one thing I learned in both the United States Army and the Marine Corps about leadership, it was leading by example,” Coffman lectured them, pointing to his chest at a committee hearing. “Never ask anyone to do anything that you yourself would not be willing to do.”
What Coffman left unsaid that day in a speech about his bill’s “symbolic” importance was that he was collecting a $55,547 state-government pension in addition to his congressional paycheck. Having spent two decades as an elected official in Colorado, he has received retirement benefits since 2009, the year he arrived in Congress.
For the rest of the story: http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/nearly-one-in-five-members-of-congress-gets-paid-twice-20130627